So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was fervently praying to God for him. Acts 12:5
“Do we miss very much of the sweetness and efficacy of prayer by a want of careful meditation before it, and hopeful expectation after it? We too often rush into the presence of God without forethought or humility. We are like men who present themselves before a king without a petition, and what wonder is it that twe often miss the end of prayer? We should be careful to keep the stream of meditation always running: for this is the water to drive the mill of prayer. It is idle to pull up the flood-gates of a dry brook, and then hope to see the wheel revolved. Praying without fervency is like hunting with a dead dog, and prayer without preparation is hawking with a blind falcon.”
Charles Haddon Spurgeon in The Treasury of David (Grand Rapids: Kregel Academic, 2016) 27.
Joy St. Clare (pictured above) was a hunting dog with fervency. God made her that way. She was a pointer, a German Shorthaired Pointer. When she hunted and caught the scent of a pheasant, she would point it and nothing would distract her focus. Nothing. That’s fervency.
Spurgeon suggests that we approach prayer with the same focus, the same fervency. It’s a brilliant word picture. When we hunted, we would constantly say, “Find a bird, Joy.” When she did, she would point when she either saw it or caught its scent. She wanted to be ready when it flushed.
We would hold her on point by saying, “Whoa, Joy!” She would point and not release and flush the bird until we gave the command, “Hunt it up!” Similarly, imagine being that focused in our pursuit of Christ! If He asked us to wait on Him, can we see ourselves holding on point.
We humans are not good at this. In today’s Scripture, God’s people were praying with fervency, but when their answer to prayer knocked on the door, they did not believe it was him until they saw him. Likewise, we are guilty of entering God’s presence without focus or humility.
What’s the point today and how does it relate to generosity? Consider this. God supplies everything for our enjoyment and sharing. Let’s fix our focus on Him with fervency, so that as He blesses us and gives us the opportunity, let’s jump to put His resources to work like a dog flushing a bird.